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Travel Books 2013

Here are some books that appeared during the year that impressed the critics, and might be worth adding to your reading lists for 2014.

  • Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Broken Road. The long-awaited posthumous, unfinished final volume of the account of the author's walk to Constantinople in the early 1930s. For William Dalrymple in the Guardian it 'assures the place of the trilogy as one of the masterpieces of the genre, indeed one of the masterworks of postwar English non-fiction.' [More details]
  • The Footing. An anthology of specially-commissioned poems on the theme of walking from the enterprising Longbarrow Press. A review for EcoArtScotland thought its 'seven poets each explore their territory with sensitivity, but without sentiment, their psychogeographical mappings manifesting the interconnections of territory, memory and experience in vivid, and wonderfully unsettling, terms.' [More details]
  • Óscar Martínez, The Beast. With this reportage from the Mexican migrant trail, the author 'has produced something that is an honorable successor to enduring works like George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier or Jacob Riis’s How the Other Half Lives' wrote New York Times. [More details]
  • Italo Calvino, Collection of Sand. With their travelogues on Japan, Iran, Mexico and elsewhere,these essays - now available in English - 'offer new glimpses into the mind of the great writer while also reminding us of Calvino's insatiable curiosity' enthused the Independent. [More details]
  • Sara Wheeler, O America!. The Guardian thought these six historical portraits of Victorian women travellers to the United States 'are precise as clocks and each as compelling as the last.' [More details]
  • Patrick Keiller, The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes. A collection of essays that is 'by turns earnest and entertaining, opens a window onto Britain’s uncharted, off-piste lands and their haunted past.' wrote the Independent. [More details]
  • Oliver Bullough, Last Man in Russia. The Independent enjoyed the 'stylish writing, the attention to detail, the concern for accuracy, the elegant blend of observation and background information' of this 'impressive and affecting depiction of the Russia of the 1960s and 1970s seen through the prism of today.' [More details]
  • Sylvain Tesson, Consolations of the Forest. The Financial Times found these reflections on six months in a Siberian log cabin ''rich in poetry, charged with intensity ... magnificent, pretentious, thoroughly French, a hermit’s vodka-tossed paean to retreat and solitude.' [More details]
  • Amit Chaudhuri, Calcutta: Two Years in the City. This 'wise and subtle' city portrait 'is distinguished by an admirable concision and a miniaturist attention to detail', thought the Telegraph. [More details]
  • Elisabeth Luard, Still Life. First published in 1998, this tells the story behind her classic European Peasant Cooking: a road-trip taken in 1985. Wrote the Guardian, 'Luard is an immensely engaging raconteur and her chaotic travels in search of authentic local food are served with humour and plenty of mouthwatering recipes.' [More details]
Posted by Alasdair Pettinger Sun 29 Dec 2013 11:10 GMT+0000


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Studies in Travel Writing (journal)
Centre for Travel Writing Studies (Nottingham Trent University)


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